Phill Nether­cott

Western Art Collector - - CONTENTS - PHILL NETHER­COTT

Rocky Moun­tain West

3,200 square inches. That’s how much real es­tate is in a 40-by-80-inch paint­ing. Painter Phill Nether­cott will have five works that size in a new show open­ing Au­gust 8 at Legacy Gallery in Jack­son Hole, Wyoming.

The artist, who lives in the small town of Mil­lville, Utah, will be show­ing as many as seven new works to­tal at the spe­cial “artist fo­cus” show at the gallery’s Jack­son Hole lo­ca­tion. “We don’t re­ally have a ti­tle for the show but since I was born, raised and lived in Jack­son Hole, Wyoming, for 50 years it might be ti­tled Mem­oirs of Jack­son Hole. All of the pieces are of lo­ca­tions within or around the Jack­son area,” Nether­cott says. “Land­scapes of the Rocky Moun­tain West from the close, in­ti­mate and what is right at your feet, to the

vast vis­tas across the Snake River al­lu­vial planes in the Grand Te­tons. I also love paint­ing the Amer­i­can South­west, such as the Grand Canyon and Mon­u­ment Val­ley.”

Works in the show in­clude Ice Cream, a win­ter scene of a stream that is snaking be­tween a snow-cov­ered meadow and hill. There is a lot of nu­ance in white scenes like this, but it can be ex­cep­tion­ally hard when there isn’t a lot of play in the val­ues. Nether­cott has fig­ured it out, though, and with marvelous re­sults. “Paint­ing win­ter scenes is a chal­lenge be­cause a lot of peo­ple don’t care for the ‘cold feel­ing’ such paint­ings can give. I was driv­ing a canyon road when I came around a cor­ner, and there was the late win­ter sun slam­ming across that icy win­ter plane into a snowy bluff,” he says. “The river below, which is a warm spring that stays open all year, was re­flect­ing the cerulean blue sky, and the snow on the ridges seems to be melt­ing down the sides like an ice cream sun­dae. I live for these in­cred­i­ble flashes of beauty in the land­scape.”

Nether­cott uses a fairly stan­dard process when it comes to cre­at­ing art­work. He sketches, uses pho­tog­ra­phy for de­tails, a small wa­ter­color kit to cap­ture color and gen­er­ally prefers plein air, though it’s not al­ways prac­ti­cal. In the stu­dio he trans­forms all of these el­e­ments into his mag­nif­i­cent land­scapes, some of them mas­sive in size and scope.

“I think deep in the heart of many artists is a kind of ego­tism—‘i want to be the best there ever was.’ This kind of think­ing, of course as child­ish as it may sound, puts you in com­pe­ti­tion with ev­ery artist that has ever lived. Can I be bet­ter than Rem­brandt? Monet?” he says. “I chuckle at my­self again but then I start a new paint­ing and there it is—‘this is go­ing to be the best paint­ing there ever was!’ Putting ego aside I hope that I can make peo­ple feel what I feel when I see ice cream melt­ing down a moun­tain slope.”

Trac­ery, oil, 40 x 80”

Mis­ti­cal, oil, 40 x 80”

South Park Sum­mer, oil, 40 x 80”

Ice Cream, oil, 24 x 36”

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